Long-Term Effects of Chlamydia: What You Need to Know

    Long-Term Effects of Chlamydia: What You Need to Know

    Chlamydia is an STD that usually doesn’t show any symptoms. However, if left untreated, the long-term effects of chlamydia can have a big impact on a person’s overall health.

    What are the Long-Term Effects of Chlamydia?

    Chlamydia is one of the more common STDs that people can have. In addition, it’s also a condition that can easily be treated through the use of antibiotics.

    Despite this, a lot of people with chlamydia still don’t seek treatment or don’t even have an idea that they have the disease. This not only increases the possibility that they might suffer serious complications. But it also means that they can infect others if they have unprotected sex.

    But what exactly are the long-term effects of chlamydia?

    long-term effects of chlamydia

    Effects of Chlamydia on Men

    Compared to women, the long-term effects of chlamydia in men are not as numerous. However, it can also lead to serious health problems.

    In particular, epididymitis is one of the possible effects of untreated chlamydia in men. This happens when a tube in the testicles called the epididymis gets inflamed. This usually happens if the infection goes up the urethra and into the epididymis.

    The symptoms of epididymis include

    • A burning sensation when peeing
    • Discharge coming from the penis
    • Pain in the testicles
    • Blood in the semen
    • Fever.

    If not treated, epididymis can lead to infertility.

    Is Chlamydia Curable?

    Effects of Chlamydia in women:

    Women should be wary of chlamydia as it can cause more serious problems in women compared to men. Here are some of the possible complications.

    PID or pelvic inflammatory disease

    PID is a condition wherein the reproductive organs of the woman are infected. This can cause symptoms such as

    • Pain in the lower abdomen
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Fever
    • Yellow-green discharge from the vagina
    • Burning sensation when peeing

    Infertility

    Chlamydia can also cause infertility if left untreated. This happens because the bacteria causes inflammation and damages the fallopian tube, uterus, and other reproductive organs. These damages result in the reproductive organs being unable to function normally i.e. blocked fallopian tubes, which leads to infertility.

    Ectopic pregnancy

    Chlamydia can also increase a woman’s risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. This is especially true among women who have been infected by chlamydia more than once.

    An ectopic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy wherein the embryo implants itself outside the uterus. When this happens, the embryo has a very low chance of survival.

    However, a bigger problem is that ectopic pregnancies can also be life-threatening. What happens is that if the embryo implants itself in the fallopian tubes, and it starts to grow, it can actually rupture the tubes. This can lead to serious internal bleeding that can be fatal.

    Can You Contract Chlamydia More Than Once?

    One common misconception about chlamydia is that once you get it, you can no longer get infected. This is not true.

    Your body does not build an immunity to chlamydia, so a person can get it multiple times. In fact, the more times a person gets chlamydia, the worse the symptoms become.

    For people who have been previously infected, take precautionary measures to avoid being reinfected. This includes practicing safe sex, avoiding having multiple partners, and getting tested regularly for STDs.

    Key Takeaways

    Chlamydia is an STD that should not be taken lightly. This is because though the initial stages usually don’t show any symptoms, the infection can lead to serious complications once detected. The important thing to remember is to practice safe sex and undergo STD testing regularly if you have multiple partners.

    Learn more about Chlamydia here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Chlamydia – Symptoms & Treatment – Southern Nevada Health District, https://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/Health-Topics/chlamydia/symptoms-treatment/, Accessed December 28, 2020

    Chlamydia, http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/188/27/chlamydia, Accessed December 28, 2020

    STD Facts – Chlamydia, https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm, Accessed December 28, 2020

    Detailed STD Facts – Chlamydia, https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm, Accessed December 28, 2020

    Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – CDC Fact Sheet, https://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid.htm, Accessed December 28, 2020

    Chlamydia – Complications – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/complications/, Accessed December 28, 2020

    Picture of the Authorbadge
    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 16, 2021
    Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD